I always wanted to stay! Theo Walcott FINALLY signs new Arsenal deal
Theo Walcott insists he never wanted to leave Arsenal after signing a new long-term contract at the north London club
Theo Walcott insists that he never wanted to leave Arsenal after penning a new long-term deal with the club on Friday.
The 23-year-old’s future at Emirates Stadium has been a source of constant speculation in recent months after the forward rejected the Gunners’ initial contract offer in the summer.
But Walcott, who is believed to have signed a three-and-a-half year extension with the north Londoners, says he always wanted to stay and expressed his delight at finally putting pen to paper.
“I am very happy to have signed a new contract here at Arsenal,” said Walcott. “Thanks to everyone for their continued support, especially the manager, everyone at the club and most importantly the fans.
“I have made it clear from the start that I wanted to stay at Arsenal so I am pleased we have agreed a deal that everyone is happy with.
“What’s important now is for the team to realise its potential and win trophies.”
Walcott has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season, including two hat-tricks – at Reading in the 7-5 Capital One Cup victory and also against Newcastle United in the 7-3 Premier League home win.
Arsene Wenger could not hide his joy at finally tying the England international down to a new deal following a long-drawn-out contract saga.
“We are all delighted that Theo has signed a new contract,” said the Arsenal boss, whose side travel to Chelsea on Sunday.
“He joined us as a 16-year-old and since then has developed very well to become an extremely important player for both Arsenal and England.
“Theo is a strong player and also a great person, and the combination of his ability and pace always make him such a valuable asset either from the flanks or down the middle.”
Wenger added: “Theo’s contract extension now gives us a strong nucleus of ambitious young players who have committed to the club and want to be successful with us as a group.”